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NHSRCL trashes reports of JICA stopping funds for Bullet Train

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

The National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), the nodal agency for implementing the Bullet Train project, Tuesday dismissed as "untrue" the reports that Japan has stopped funding the ambitions venture over various issues raised by farmers in Gujarat.

The NHSRCL clarified that no payment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is pending till this date.

In a press conference held here Tuesday, Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani shared the statement issued by the NHSRCL with media persons.

"There have been reports that JICA has stopped funding for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project on the pretext that the government should first look into the problems of farmers," the statement said.

"This is not true and not based on facts. In fact, the Government of India and the JICA have already signed a loan agreement of about 10 billion Yen and no payment is pending from JICA as on date," the NHSRCL clarified.

The country's first bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in September last year in Ahmedabad. JICA is providing a soft loan for the project.

"Further, all necessary steps with regard to submission of of various reports, i.e. Social Impact Assessment, Environment Impact Assessment and Indigenous People Plan have already been taken by the Indian side and the reports were already submitted to JICA" it said.

The agency said it was committed to take care of interests of the affected farmers.

Notably, around 1,000 farmers from Gujarat, including the five who had approached the Gujarat High Court against the project, had last week written to the Japanese government and JICA over the issue.

They had alleged that the Central and state governments are flouting the guidelines laid down by the JICA for a project like bullet train.

Senior Gujarat Congress leader Virji Thumar has claimed that the interests of the farmers have been "compromised" due to the project, as they are set to lose their precious land.

Vaghani said Railway minister Piyush Goyal too had categorically denied the reports that Japan has stopped funds.

"I condemn the misinformation campaign against the project being carried out by the Congress leaders. They are anti-Gujarat and anti-development. There is no merit in the claims that JICA has stopped funds for the project" he told reporters.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 25 2018. 22:45 IST